AL East Notes: Smith, Gomez, Arroyo, Orioles, Tulo

Shortly after landing on the disabled list due to a subluxation in his shoulder that occurred upon throwing his glove out of frustration in the dugout, Red Sox reliever Carson Smith suggested that arm fatigue may have contributed to his injury (link via Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald). “I’ve thrown a lot lately and I think my arm was just tired,” said Smith, though his comments didn’t sit well with manager Alex Cora. Cora flatly told reporters that he “[doesn’t] agree” with Smith’s assessment, adding that Boston’s coaching staff checks in with its pitchers each day when determining who is or isn’t available in relief. Smith gave the team no indication that he was feeling overworked. “It caught me by surprise,” Cora said of Smith’s comment. “If he felt that way he should’ve told it to us or he should’ve mentioned it.” Smith, of course, has placed much of the blame for his injury on himself as well and expressed regret over the manner in which the injury occurred.

More from the division…

  • The Rays put Carlos Gomez on the 10-day DL with a groin strain and recalled infielder Christian Arroyo from Triple-A Durham, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Gomez’s injury doesn’t appear to be too severe, as Topkin notes that the organization is “playing it safe” and being careful in placing the struggling Gomez on the disabled list. The 32-year-old Gomez is hitting just .200/.252/.354 on the season, though his .264 BABIP is considerably south of his career .315 mark. Arroyo, the centerpiece in the offseason Evan Longoria swap, has had a similarly rough go of it in Durham, opening the year in a .200/.235/.308 slump. He’ll get some opportunities in the coming days against left-handed pitching, manager Kevin Cash said, though it appears that part of the thinking in bringing him to the big leagues was to give Cash an alternative to Matt Duffy, who is dealing with a sore hamstring but as of now won’t be placed on the DL.
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America profiles the Orioles’ baffling philosophy on the international prospect market. As Badler notes, Baltimore spent just $535K on prospects in the 2018-19 period and just $260K in the prior period, instead utilizing their pool to acquire fringe minor leaguers (one of whom was even lost in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft just months after being acquired). As Badler explains, the behavior can’t be pinned on the front office, as the neglect of the international market is an ownership-level decision from Peter Angelos that spans multiple iterations of baseball operations personnel. But, by not giving international scouts the resources they need, the O’s annually put themselves at a massive disadvantage in terms of building a farm system. That, as Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com examines, forces GM Dan Duquette to rely more heavily on tactics like the Rule 5 Draft, which can have its own detrimental effects on a roster when utilized too heavily — especially for a club with aspirations of contending. Connolly contends that Baltimore’s lack of international signings makes even role players hard to come by within the organization, pushing Duquette to seek options in the Rule 5 and thus creating roster flexibility issues each year.
  • Shi Davidi of Sportsnet provides some updates on a few injured Blue Jays, reporting that Troy Tulowitzki has begun fielding grounders and is doing some running on an antigravity treadmill. Tulowitzki is on the 60-day DL, though his absence seems likely to extend beyond that 60-day minimum window. The injury plagued former All-Star had surgery to remove bone spurs from both of his heels last month and has yet to play in 2018. Davidi also adds that Steve Pearce isn’t yet cleared for baseball activities as his oblique strain mends, while Aledmys Diaz is doing some light running after suffering an ankle injury earlier this month. With both Tulowitzki and Diaz on the shelf, the Jays have been using a combo of Lourdes Gurriel, Richard Urena and Gio Urshela at shortstop recently.

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